Top 10 hobbies mentioned in obituaries

According to the 2010 American Time Use Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spend an average of 5 hours each day on sports and leisure activities. And more than half of that time is spent watching television.  But watching TV is one of the least common activities mentioned in obituaries.

Reviewing the more than 10 million obituaries in’s database, we discovered that there are 100 times more obituaries that mention traveling compared to obituaries that mention watching TV. I suppose that’s not too surprising – most people don’t really want their loved ones to be remembered for the many hours they spent relaxing on the couch in front of a television.  

So how do they want their loved ones to be remembered?  Read on to see the top 10 hobbies mentioned in obituaries:

  1. Traveling
  2. Gardening
  3. Volunteering
  4. Fishing
  5. Cooking or baking
  6. Spending time with friends and family
  7. Reading
  8. Golfing
  9. Knitting, crocheting, or sewing
  10. Camping

In the years to come, I’m sure social media will work its way into that top 10 list. Or perhaps it will be the next generation’s “watching television” – the thing we all spend our time doing, but that none of us really want to be remembered for.

About Katie

I joined in 2002 as a part-time content screener and now serve as Director of Operations, overseeing Legacy’s day-to-day operations (Guest Book screening, obituary processing, customer service, and client service). I grew up in California, the daughter of a psychologist and a minister. My parents instilled in me the importance of listening to and caring about others. One of the things I appreciate most about working at is that I am able to have a small part in easing people's pain during one of the most difficult times in their lives. In my life outside of Legacy, I enjoy baking treats (and bringing them to the office to share), playing the piano, reading, taking pictures, tending to our vegetable & herb gardens, trying out new restaurants and foods, spending time with my husband, Chuck (whom I met at Legacy) and our kids, Brett Jr. & Josie.
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